Client Experience Management: More Than the Metric
March 14, 2013
The SMART Principles Help Companies Maximize Return on Investments in CEM Programs
Companies that invest in expensive client experience management (CEM) programs without devoting comparable resources and attention to creating an organizational process that integrates results into corporate operations and culture are wasting money. Even the most effective client experience measurement tool will not deliver results without the buy-in of management and employees and a clearly defined process for leveraging CEM results into action and change.
That is the conclusion of a new report from Greenwich Associates entitled, Client Experience Programs: More than the Metric. In this report, Greenwich Associates explains how companies can apply what it calls the “SMART” principles to create and implement CEM programs that help them achieve business goals by bringing about sustainable change to corporate culture.
“A CEM program supported by these principles will engage staff and trigger actions that solve real problems,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Ron Balmer. “Resulting improvements in performance will ensure these programs pay for themselves many times over in terms of retained or newly acquired business and, ultimately, increased profitability.”
It’s Not the Club; It’s the Swing
Companies today have access to a broad array of tools for measuring and improving customer loyalty. In fact, picking from among the many proprietary CEM approaches marketed by consultants and other providers can be dizzying.
Indeed metrics such as Net Promoter Score or measures of Customer Commitment offer useful data about client experience. But executives looking to establish CEM programs that demonstrate clear Return on Investment (ROI) should keep one critical point in mind: Regardless of the metric or measure used, the ultimate success of a program in driving positive change will be determined not by the specific tool employed, but rather by management’s success at integrating CEM into the organization.
To use a golf analogy, it’s not the club that matters; it’s the swing.
That message is often lost amid sales pitches from outside CEM providers touting the advantages of their own particular methodologies. So it is important that companies looking to implement or upgrade CEM programs not get distracted from their ultimate goal: increasing profitability through changes to the corporate culture that make customers more loyal.
The SMART Principles
In the new report, Greenwich Associates explains how companies can use CEM to drive real cultural change to improve the client experience by employing SMART Principles:
• S = Show Me the Money: Create “demand pull” for CEM information by linking client feedback to the personal success of line staff, management and company.
• M = Management Commitment: Make your program sustainable by having senior management elevate exceptional client experience to a strategic imperative.
• A = Actionability and Accountability: Align CEM information with action across the organization in a “closed-loop” process.
• R = Real-Time Insights: Make every client interview a potential action item as part of the business management process. (Do not forget to provide feedback to clients.)
• T = Training, Coaching and Communicating: Involve line staff and provide training and coaching.